TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – The fog caused havoc on a paradise vacation for thousands of cruise ship passengers. The soupy conditions at sea delayed the return of the Carnival Paradise into the Port of Tampa Thursday.
People who were already on-board were supposed to disembark early Thursday morning, but had to wait until Thursday evening, or in some cases, Friday morning, to get off the ship. As a result, passengers planning to head to sea on a four-day cruise Thursday, won’t leave Tampa until Friday afternoon, Carnival officials said.
That cruise will simply sail the seas and skip a planned stop in Cozumel, Mexico, the company said in a statement.
Eight On Your Side spoke to some passengers who were late returning to Tampa. They seemed to take the delay in stride.
“We were fogged in, so we couldn’t go anywhere,” said Alan Turney of Lakeland. “So we parked and just waited. We thought it was going break but it didn’t, so they started feeding us again.”
The company is offering passengers a 50 percent refund of their cruise and a 50 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise.
Carnival released the following statement on Thursday night:
At this time the Carnival Paradise is making its way through the channel and is expected to be docked at the Port of Tampa cruise terminal at approximately 9:30 p.m. Due to the late hour of the ship’s arrival, the disembarkation process for guests currently on board will be completed tomorrow morning.
Therefore, today’s scheduled four-day cruise to Cozumel has now been modified to a three-day Cruise to Nowhere embarking tomorrow. Guests who were scheduled to depart on today’s voyage have been notified of the current situation and have been asked to arrive for embarkation between 12:00p.m. and 3:00p.m. tomorrow. Those who wish to sail on the modified itinerary will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise and a 50 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise.
Carnival Paradise was scheduled to return today from a five-day cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel that departed on Saturday, Jan 23 from Tampa where it is based year-round.